Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Cardamom Cupcake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Finally, a cupcake you don't feel so bad about. This was my first time experimenting with rice flour and it made my cakes light and fluffy and moist. The hint of cardamom and the delicate sweetness from the white chocolate was perfect.

Gluten-Free Cardamom Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
6 eggs, separated
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rice flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

For the Chocolate-Cardamom Ganache
1 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the White Chocolate Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 oz good quality white chocolate, melted, cooled


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Melt the chocolate in the boiling water. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy and stiff but not dry. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Blend in the melted chocolate. Sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. 

For the ganache: Crush the cardamom in a spice grinder. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the cream and cardamom just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until cool. Beginning near the center and working outward, stir the melted chocolate into the cream until the mixture is combined and smooth (do not over stir).

Fold in the Chocolate-Cardamom Ganache into the batter. Fold in the beaten whites. Fill the cupcake liners halfway and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

For the buttercream: Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved.

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool, about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Using a flexible spatula, fold white chocolate into buttercream mixture. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.

To assemble: When the cupcakes are cool to the touch, prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Fill the bag with Chocolate Buttercream and pipe the tops of each cupcake.

Cake recipe adapted from Hollis Wilder via Food Network

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